Pay attention to your SMILE : )
You have a beautiful smile! Yes, it’s true. You’re smiling now just thinking about your smile and the more you think about it the more you keep on smiling! Don’t let the stress of the holiday season take that beautiful smile away from you. Now’s the time to spread joy and cheer. Let those smiles shine from ear to ear ; )
We’ve all heard the phrase that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. And, based on my tedious “research” I can corroborate this as truth. Different experts give different numbers, but on average, we use about 40 muscles to make a sad face and 20 to make a happy one.
According the psychologist, Paul Ekman, there are 18 different kinds of genuine smiles. Who knew?! And no matter which kind of smiling face we make, it often starts in one of two ways: with a memory or with our senses. A song comes on the radio and it reminds us of the first time we saw our favorite band live in concert = smile. Walking down the street you hear the sounds of kids laughing and playing on a swing set = smile. A mundane trip to the grocery store becomes just a little more enjoyable when we stroll past the bakery case and can’t help but notice the perfect scent of chocolate cake baking = smile. Someone you love (or maybe even like a little bit) wraps their arms around you and gives you a big strong hug = smile.
Clearly, we have many reasons and opportunities for smiling. But some days, we just don’t feel like it. The weather may be gray and gloomy and the melancholy may be setting in. Some days our hearts are hurting or our mood is low and we maybe have a hard time connecting with our joy. And sometimes, in these moments especially, seeing someone else smile (yes, I’m doing it) can turn our frown upside down!
So let’s give smiles the attention they deserve. Try these practices on for size and see how giving smiles your attention in this way changes your day.
- Pay attention to the moments when you see other people smiling. Just make a quick mental note of it, pause, appreciate it, and notice how you feel. Paying attention in this way is particularly helpful on those gray, gloomy, melancholy days. You may notice that the more you pay attention to all of the smiling faces around the more you have one of your own!
- Pay attention to all the moments in a day when YOU are smiling. Take a second to notice how it feels and pay attention to the experience that put the smile on your face. Add a little gratitude to the mix by thinking thankful thoughts for the moment that made you smile and you’ll probably notice that you are smiling more and more each day!
Go on! Get out there! Get your smile on! And then come back and tell us all about how happy and smiley you are in the comments section below : )